ARMCHAIR GOLF Roundtable: Hogan, Snead and Nelson

ARMCHAIR GOLF Roundtable: Hogan, Snead and Nelson 1Editor’s note: These are real quotes and comments. The questions are made up. Welcome to the ARMCHAIR GOLF roundtable.

At the roundtable:
Ben Hogan – 64 PGA Tour wins, 9 majors
Sam Snead – 82 PGA Tour wins, 7 majors
Byron Nelson – 52 PGA Tour wins, 5 majors

Q: Gentlemen, welcome to the roundtable. Ben, let’s start with you. After all the rounds and practice sessions, tell us something you have learned about this game.

Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots.

Q: Byron, how about you? What about the game comes to mind?

Golf is a lot like life. When you make a decision, stick with it.

Q: Sam?

SAM SNEAD: Playing golf is like eating.

Q: Eating?

SAM SNEAD: It’s something that has to come naturally.

Q: Ben, it didn’t come naturally for you. You constantly worked at your game.

BEN HOGAN: Very few times in my life I laid off two to three days. It seemed like it took me a month to three months to get back those three days when I took a rest. It’s a tough situation. I had to practice all the time.

Q: Byron, were you a natural like Sam or did you have to work hard on your swing?

SAM SNEAD: When I swing at a golf ball right, my mind is blank and my body is loose as a goose.

Q: Thanks, Sam. Byron, any swing secret?

BYRON NELSON: Swing the club as though you were driving 60 miles an hour on the freeway. Not too fast, but not deathly slow. Once in a while, if the risk isn’t great, you can push your swing to 70, but never go faster than that.

Q: Ben, it’s well known that putting was not your favorite part of the game.

BEN HOGAN: There shouldn’t be any cups, just flagsticks. And then the man who hit the most fairways and greens and got the closest to the pins would be the tournament winner.

Q: Sam, are you with Ben on this?

SAM SNEAD: I shot a wild elephant in Africa thirty yards from me, and it didn’t hit the ground until it was right at my feet. I wasn’t a bit scared. But a four-foot putt scares me to death.

Q: How about you, Byron?

Putting affects the nerves more than anything. I would actually get nauseated over three-footers.

Q: You all had humble beginnings. Talk about that.

People think growing up in the hills was a handicap I had to overcome. In a lot of ways it gave me an advantage that has lasted me to this day. Just like with that stick, I’d have to overcompensate for just about everything.

Q: Anybody else?

LEE TREVINO: My family was so poor they couldn’t afford any kids. The lady next door had me.

Q: Lee? I didn’t see you come in. Any final thoughts, gentlemen?

I used to go to the bar when I finished a round. The kids today go back and practice.

The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.

BYRON NELSON: I tried to give my best to golf.

Don’t ever get old.

LEE TREVINO: The older I get, the better I used to be!

Q: Thanks Ben, Sam, Byron and, um, Lee.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Source: The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations, published by Skyhorse Publishing.)

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

6 thoughts on “ARMCHAIR GOLF Roundtable: Hogan, Snead and Nelson”

  1. I hate it when Trevino just pops in unannounced and uninvited like that. He did that to me once when I had Arnie, Jack and Gary in the studio and he tried to do that thing with the fake snake. Jack told him it wasn’t funny at the ’71 Open and it isn’t funny now.

    I guess we should call Trevino an interviewloper.

    Great job! You captured the essence of all three of the greatest ever.


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